Gum Disease Affects Half of Americans
Periodontal Disease is the inflammation and infection of the tissue that supports the teeth, gums, and periodontal ligaments.
Often the patient is unaware of the disease in their mouth and it goes untreated because it is rarely painful, especially in early stages. Dr. George and his highly trained dental hygienist are focused on preventative care and proper maintenance to so that patients can treat and reverse periodontal disease. We also have a periodontal specialist that works in the practice to ensure that patients get the best possible care.
Warning signs of periodontal disease:
- Persistent bad breath.
- Bleeding of the gums when brushing or flossing.
- Soft, swollen or tender gums.
- Loose teeth.
- Changes in the spaces between teeth, which may reflect changes in the underlying bone.
What causes periodontal disease?
The main cause of periodontal disease is the accumulation of plaque. Plaque is a sticky film of food and bacteria that forms on your teeth. When the plaque is not removed daily, it builds up and mineralizes to become tartar. If tartar is not removed, it begins to accumulate on the root surfaces of your teeth. The bacterium causing periodontal disease thrives on tartar, so it is important to prevent it. The bacterium produced begins to produce toxins, and these toxins combined with your body’s response begin to destroy the bone around your teeth. Bone loss is generally irreversible and can lead to the loss of teeth. When periodontal disease is caught early bone loss can be avoided. It is important to see a dental hygienist regularly to have your teeth cleaned and the tartar removed. Once the tartar is present it is very challenging to remove and can not be eliminated by a toothbrush or dental floss.
How is periodontal disease treated?
Dr. George believes in treating patients in the least invasive and most cost effective manner that will achieve healthy results. In most cases a scaling and root planing treatment is done under local anesthetic. This removes plaque and tartar from the deep periodontal pockets and root surfaces. In addition to this procedure antibiotics may be placed in the pockets to promote healing and reduce the size of the periodontal pocket. Dr. George’s office also employs the latest in laser technology. Laser treatment has been proven to kill bacteria, remove diseased tissue and reduce the depth of the pockets around the teeth. (Please read more on the Dental Lasers page.)
Once treatment is complete, routine visits are needed to check the overall health of the gums and to maintain their health. In some case further treatment may be needed with a periodontal specialist.
Your gums are the foundation for your teeth and smile. Maintaining them is vitally important for a healthy lifestyle. Schedule an appointment with our highly trained dental hygienist and learn more about your dental heath.
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